Many people experience increased sorrow during the holidays. A mate is no longer there; a best friend succumbs to cancer; a parent died in a tragic car accident. For some it leads to depression, addiction, or even suicide.

How do you help grieving people? In particular, how do you support those filled with sorrow who don’t know the Lord? 

Sometimes it’s not what you say; it’s who you are that makes a difference.

1. Be a Praying Person

Only God can fill the emptiness of the human heart. Nothing is better than knowing the One who is there 24/7. So begin by talking to God about them. Ask God to provide an opportunity (Col. 4:3) and pray in particular for their salvation (1 Tim. 4:1, 4). It’s your persevering prayers at this point that could make the difference.

2. Be a Present Person

The comment, “I’m praying for you” needs to be expressed as you look for opportunities to be with them and for them to be with you. Remember their sorrow might be so deep that they are not reaching out to you in terms of telling you how much they need you there. You will have to reach out to them.

3. Be a Patient Person

Healing is a slow process. Let God give you the patience to show them the steps of progress they are making. As you exercise patience,God could give you the opportunity to lead them to Christ weeks or even months from now. Even after they come to Christ, they still need your patient spirit as God helps them walk through their valley of sorrow. 

Be the person you need to be, and it may be your privilege to introduce them to the Friend they need to know.

Editor's Note: This post is adapted from an article originally posted in December 21, 2015.